Board of Directors

Susan Mann, Chair

B.A, Dip. Ed, GAICD.

Sue has worked in education in Victoria, nationally and internationally, as a secondary teacher, teacher educator, policy analyst and senior administrator for over 40 years. Over the last 20 years, she has developed extensive experience in managing not-for-profit companies owned by the Australian Ministers for Education, as Chief Operating Officer of the Learning Federation and Chief Executive Officer of Curriculum Corporation and its successor, Education Services Australia.

Colin Axup, Deputy Chair

B.A (Hons), Dip. Ed, Grad. Dip Strategic Studies.

Colin began teaching at Melbourne High School in 1992.  Colin’s career has seen him appointed at several secondary schools in Victoria, most recently as principal of Suzanne Cory High School, the newest of Victoria’s select entry high schools.

In his time as principal, Colin has been most interested in the role of leadership in transforming schools. He believes that professional organisations play an important role in the work of a principal and he assumed the position of President of the Victorian Association of State Secondary Principals in March 2021, having been the Deputy President since 2018.

Barry Smith

B.A, Dip. Ed, GAICD.

Barry was President of the State Schools’ Relief Board for over 10 years, beginning September 2011. During this time, Barry oversaw the expansion of SSR’s service delivery from 12,231 applications for support in 2015 to more than 67,000 in the 2021/22 financial year.

Barry has been a passionate advocate of the Student’s Choice initiatives and has been instrumental in setting up the social enterprise arm of SSR, which now retails school uniforms to over 40 schools across Victoria.

He has also had a varied career as a teacher, teacher union official, adviser to Joan Kirner AC and a successful business owner.

Cheryle Osborne

PhD, MEPA, MEPI, B Ed Dip. Teach (Primary) 

Cheryle has over 35 years’ experience in Victorian government schools and is currently Principal of Aspendale Gardens Primary School. Cheryle has been a member of the VPA for 23 years and a VPA Board Member for the past 13 years.

Gail McHardy

Gail has long been one of Victoria’s leading advocates for parents of students in Victorian government schools and is the CEO at Parents Victoria.

Gail has been an active parent participant at her own daughters’ schools, volunteering and working for the statewide peak body, Parents Victoria (PV). Gail has had many opportunities to share her extensive knowledge, professional commitment, experience and energy with many school communities, future teacher graduates and with other stakeholders across the public education sector.

Gail shares "PV has supported the work of State Schools' Relief since the 1930's, it's great to serve on their board in keeping with their philosophy, mission and values”.

Julie Evans


Julie is an actuary with over 35 years of experience across both private and public sectors, in Australia and abroad. She has worked as an actuarial consultant, a partner with a large professional services firm, and most recently a senior executive at WorkSafe Victoria.

Julie brings strong financial and commercial acumen together with experience in assessing enterprise risk and developing and driving strategic change.

Julie joined the State Schools’ Relief Board of Directors in October 2023. She is also a Board member of Golden City Support Services, a disability services provider based in regional Victoria.

Martina Owen


Martina has worked as a business manager for Victorian government schools for the past 11 years, in both primary and secondary settings.  Martina is a member of the Committee of Management for Business Managers Victoria and is passionate about the progression of business managers and supporting their professional profile.

Through her involvement in Deakin University Advisory Board and Business Managers Victoria, together with many working years’ experience, participation in local school networks, and department stakeholder groups, Martina has a high level understanding of compliance, governance, operational process and financial management for Victorian government schools.

Wilma Culton

B. Ed, M. Ed.

Wilma is currently Principal of Serpell Primary School in Templestowe. She holds special interest in International Education, International Standards and Accreditation of Schools with a strong focus on development of students with a positive contribution as global citizens.

Zac Martin


Zac is a Planning Director at advertising agency TBWA\Melbourne. For over 14 years he has worked with some of Australia’s biggest brands, driving growth through business and marketing strategy. He has served as President of his hockey club for eight years, sold his own start-up, and is the proud dad of two boys. Zac joined the State Schools' Relief Board of Directors in October 2023.